Powerline Adapter Discussions - Page 2 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 2019-04-11, 06:45 PM
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I'm not familiar with the Airport Extreme but router fundamentals are similar. (Many use virtually the same firmware but Apple will likely be different than most.) What differs is the user interface. Some routers have an access point mode in the setup.

One concern is security. If the router is still supported by Apple that's not an issue. If it hasn't received firmware updates in the last year or two security could be an issue when it is directly connected to the internet. It should be fine as an access point or repeater.

First, the Rogers modem must be put back into routing mode. That's probably easiest done with a reset. That's done by pressing the rest button for 10 seconds (using a paper clip if necessary.) Lights will flash and the router will go through the startup sequence. Connect a computer directly to one of the Rogers router LAN ports. (Completely remove the Airport Extreme.) The default username and password is probably printed on the router. Be sure to change the password and save it. Set SSIDs and secure passwords for each wifi band. They can be the same as the current Airport Extreme SSIDs and passwords. Test the router and wifi for functionality.

Converting a router into an access point is fairly simple. It consists of turning off DHCP in setup and plugging the incoming network cable into one of the LAN ports. (That cable will be in the WAN port with your current setup.) Don't use the WAN port.

There are few details to attend to first. If the LAN address is set manually, the two routers must be on the same subnet. Most routers are on a class C network which starts with 192.168.0 or 192.168.1. Make note of the Rogers router address. It's probably 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. Next, connect the computer to one of the Airport Extreme LAN ports using the current Airport Extreme's LAN address. Give its LAN interface a different address on the new subnet such as 192.168.0.2 or 192.168.1.2. (The first three numbers must match the Rogers modem.) Turn off DHCP in the Airport Extreme setup. Then plug the network cable into one of the Airport Extreme LAN ports and it should be good to go. Test the Airport Extreme connection and wifi.

Note: Changing or switching devices with different network addresses can sometimes cause connectivity issues on the computer. Some will reconfigure automatically but a reboot is sometimes required.

A note on DHCP. For simple home networks only one DHCP server should be present. That server could be on either router. If you have a difficult to replicate DHCP setup on the Airport Extreme then it might make more sense to turn the DHCP off on the Rogers router. Otherwise, turn DHCP off on the Airport Extreme.
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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 2019-04-11, 08:02 PM
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@ExDilbert : Thank you for the detailed instructions. I think I follow most of that, but I believe I'm missing the simplest and most important part. You say.

Quote:
Then plug the network cable into one of the Airport Extreme LAN ports and it should be good to go. Test the Airport Extreme connection and wifi.
Are you talking about the cable that will come from the "far" powerline adaptor? Then both routers work "as one". Can I plug the TV using the TV's LAN port into the Airport or does this mean I need to use the TV's WiFi, but obviously the Airport will be closer to the TV for better signal? Or are you talking about simply putting the Airport beside the Hitron modem/router to "boost" the signal?

The Rogers Hitron uses 192.168.0.1

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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 2019-04-11, 08:20 PM
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Something like the following seems to easily do what I want.

- It gives me a powerline adapter for the basement where the TV is
- It has 3 LAN ports in case I want to add something else, say AppleTV or Wired Laptop, etc
- It acts as a WiFi extender cloning my existing WiFi.

https://www.staples.ca/en/tp-link-ac...9_1-CA_1_20001

The other option, since I'm not looking for Gigabit speeds, is to purchase one of the $50 packages, that simply is a powerline adapter, with one LAN port to meet my current needs and perhaps upgrade in future as needed.

https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product...10227514.aspx?

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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 2019-04-11, 09:10 PM
 
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Red face Change AirPort to Wi-Fi access point mode

Here’s the proper way to put an AirPort device in access point mode. This must be done after having changed your modem to gateway/router mode. You don’t need to do changes to any cables.
  1. Open AirPort Utility on your computer and click on your device. Then click on the Edit button.
  2. In the Internet tab, choose DHCP (or Static if you prefer).
  3. In the Network tab, change Router Mode to Off (Bridge Mode).
  4. Click on Update at the bottom of the window, and confirm by clicking Continue.

This will cause the AirPort device to stop acting as a router and will become a Wi-Fi access point. Note that it will reboot when you do this, it will take about 2 minutes.

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Last edited by Ed7789; 2019-04-11 at 09:11 PM. Reason: Added a title
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 2019-04-11, 09:26 PM
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I mean to leave the Airport Extreme where it now is. That will provide wifi to the top floor and main floor. The LAN ports on the Airport Extreme will act as a router to feed any wired devices now connected. The WAN port on the Airport Extreme is not used. The Rogers router will act as the internet router and provide wifi to the basement and the main floor. No powerline adapter is needed. The TV and other devices in the basement should get a good wifi signal from the Rogers router.

For roaming devices and where the wifi signals overlap there are several configurations. One is to have identical SSIDs and passwords. I usually use separate SSIDs for each band and force 5GHz use when possible. That's basically similar to mesh but newer devices add a solution for the roaming issue. I've done that with good results except for the occasions where the device stays locked onto the weaker signal. The other is to provide separate SSIDs for each band and router. That provides more configuration flexibility but both SSIDs for each band must be entered for roaming devices.

Providing identical SSIDs and passwords on two access points is not cloning the signal but it's close. Devices will lock on to the strongest signal when the connection is negotiated. This looks like wired mesh on the surface but mesh adds some extra smarts.

Their are two ways to clone the original wifi signal. One is to use a wireless repeater. However, the repeater solution has a couple of downsides. One is that the speed is only as good as the signal the repeater receives and it slows down maximum wifi speeds significantly even under ideal conditions. I don't recommend it unless it is the only solution. I consider dedicated wireless repeaters to be a waste of money. Some wifi routers can be easily configured as a wireless repeater. Other routers require a complicated manual configuration or lack repeater capability.

The other way to clone the original wifi signal is with mesh. That can be wired or wireless mesh. Wired mesh works similarly to a wired access point with identical SSIDs on each band but adds some extra smarts. Wireless mesh is basically like a wireless repeater with extra smarts. Most consumer mesh systems are wireless and provide easy plug and play functionality. They suffer from the same speed issues as wireless repeaters. The exception are tri-band mesh systems that use two 5GHz bands for extra throughput. There may be mesh systems that use powerline for the backhaul but I haven't run across one.
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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 2019-04-11, 09:53 PM
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The AV500 powerline adapter in the bottom link will be significantly slower than AV1200 or AV1300 models. The TP-Link AC1300 Powerline AC Wi-Fi adapter looks good on paper and TP-Link products typically perform very well. Given a choice between the two, that's the one I would choose. Just keep in mind that speeds won't be anywhere near 1300Mbps but should be more than adequate for video streaming and devices such as laptops and smartphones.
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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 2019-04-11, 11:11 PM
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Thank you both again for the input. I looked into repeaters and almost instantly wrote those out of the equation.

I'm assuming that the Powerline adapters with WiFi capability utilize the "good" internal signal from the Powerline Adapter itself (in the basement) and not "repeat" the "poor" signal that's coming from the router upstairs. I realize that I'm not going to get the "stated" throughput, however, I'm hoping that in the basement I will be getting close to the 75 mbps down that I pay Rogers for when wired (say directly to the TV) and perhaps a bit less than that when using the powerline adapter's WiFi, but significantly better than the "less than 10" that I'm currently getting from the upstairs router two floors away.

Quote:
The Rogers router will act as the internet router and provide wifi to the basement and the main floor. No powerline adapter is needed. The TV and other devices in the basement should get a good wifi signal from the Rogers router.
So, the fact that I have two devices, still in the same location upstairs provides me with better WiFi? I still don't understand. I could understand if I were to put the Rogers Router on the first floor (or in the basement), however, I stated I don't have ethernet cabling available to go from the Rogers router on the main floor (or basement) to the Airport on the second floor.)

I'm leaning towards the powerline with WiFi option... The TP is available for $129 on Amazon and it has 3 LAN ports...

https://www.amazon.ca/TP-Link-TL-WPA...y&sr=8-2-fkmr2

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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 2019-04-12, 12:49 PM
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My apologies. I thought the Rogers router was in the basement. That explains the confusion. Under the circumstances, it appears that using a wifi powerline kit may be the most cost effective solution.

It should be possible to get about 200Mbps adapter to adapter speed with the TP-Link TL-WPA8630. Noise and other factors might slow that down. That exceeds the internet plan speed and will be plenty fast enough for streaming. It will also solve the issue of wifi dead spots in the basement.

Just one more thought. Have you tried using the Rogers modem in router mode without the Airport Extreme? I get the impression the Airport Extreme is a bit dated and don't recall seeing the version mentioned. If it doesn't have AC then it may be beneficial to use a router that does.
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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 2019-04-12, 01:47 PM
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Thanks again for the explanations. I have not tried the Rogers modem as a router because there are a huge number of complaints about the range of these on various forums and I hadn't had any issues with the Airport until very recently and even then, it's two floors away. Most people have stated that they get better performance when they used the Airport (or some other "better" routers). I may experiment with that at some future date.

Anyway, I purchased the TP-Link TL-WPA8630 kit for $129 at Canada Computers (it was on sale) and I'll let you know how that works out.

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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 2019-04-12, 04:13 PM
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Using the Rogers modem was just a passing idea to try it out. I know the Airport Extreme is highly rated but it seems to have been surpassed by a few others. The TP-Link TL-WPA8630 should work out. For powerline, it's one of the best and the price is certainly good. I would choose it over most of the extenders and mesh systems, especially at that price point.
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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 2019-04-12, 05:30 PM
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I've installed the TP-Link TL-WPA8630 and it works great for Ethernet. I'm getting the same speed in the basement as upstairs - 95 mbps down with 10 mbps up. Not bad for a Rogers 75/10 connection.

However, I still have some work to do on "copying" the Wifi settings (which I currently don't need so I can take my time). The instructions are to press a WPS button on the Router and then on the Adapter. The Airport doesn't have a WPS button so I had to browse the internet for how to enable WPS. You enable WPS by using the Airport app on the computer, but it didn't seem to "take" on the "extender". The Airport App said it "found the item", but the "item" didn't seem to get WiFi "copied" properly.

Looks like I need to look up how to do it properly using the tpPLC app per the "Quick Installation Guide" which is not turning out to be that quick.

PS. YouTube videos on the TV's app are now loading at around 30 mbps and I can stream the sample 4K videos without issue (via Ethernet). I was surprised that many of the 1080P videos are also loading at around 30 mbps...

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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 2019-04-12, 06:14 PM
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Glad to hear it's working well. The two devices may need a strong wifi link for WPS to work. Try temporarily moving the TL-WPA8630 to the same room as the Airport Extreme. The other option is to simply enter the SSID and password for each band directly into the TL-WPA8630 app.
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post #28 of 29 (permalink) Old 2019-04-12, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExDilbert View Post
Try temporarily moving the TL-WPA8630 to the same room as the Airport Extreme.
That's what I did as per the quick installation guide. The two were about 6' apart. That's also how you "pair" the ethernet powerline connection too (in the same room, on the same circuit if possible. Once everything is set up, you then move the "extender" to the far away location.

It might have been an issue with only one band taking the WPS signal and not the other. Although both band lights on the extender were eventually "lit" after the procedure, the Airport app seemed to think it was done after only one band light lit up.

I'll set it up using the app tomorrow probably, or give the WPS one more try.

PS. One thing I noticed is that when we were using our iPhone or iPad on the main floor there was a popup about the WiFi connection we were using asking for the WAP2 password. I'm guessing the iPad/iPhone were "confused" about which network to be on. Interestingly, I also have a guest network, so I switched to it and then switched back to my usual network. I turned the WiFi off on the extender to preclude these sorts of issues until I get the WiFi on the extender sorted.

Here's the Link for various downloads if interested:

https://www.tp-link.com/ca/support/d...l-wpa8630-kit/

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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 2019-04-15, 01:50 PM
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I did some research on the weekend. The WPS using Apple Extreme doesn't work because it clones only the SSID and not the password. The Extreme generates a random, very complex PW. Apple explains that this is done to increase security. The Extreme WPS function will work for some devices like printers or other items that don't require you to enter a password.

This means that I had to go into the Admin functions of the "Extender", which was fairly easy once I found the instructions. Since the SSID had already been cloned, all I had to do was change the PW for the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands and I was off to the races.

I did this by connecting the "extender" directly to my computer via an ethernet cable and typing the appropriate URL for the device into a browser. There are all sorts of things you can do in the Admin functions, like setting access times for various devices, turning the LEDs on/off at various times, etc. Most people are probably already aware of all this "router functionality." Previously I had no need for any of this.

So, what was the end result? Before I installed the Powerline Adapter I was getting about 2-5 mbps down for WiFi in my basement. I'm now getting 70-90 mbps down and 10 up via WiFi. (I get 95/10 via Ethernet) On my main floor where I used to get around 30 down, I'm now getting 60-80 down, 10 up. (I'm paying Rogers for 75/10 service.) I'm a happy camper.

I hope that all this research and discussion assists others who are interested in Powerline Adapters.

PS. I'm not sure how fast these Powerline Adapters would be on higher Internet speeds - it may depend on the electrical circuitry in your home. Do not expect to get Gigabit speeds. For example, the following is from their website:

Quote:
The TL-WPA8630 utilizes 802.11ac Wi-Fi to deliver dual band connections with combined speeds of up to 1350Mbps, including 867Mbps on the 5GHz band and 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
For example, in some cases you may only get half that, but that should be more than adequate for most people... It would be interesting to hear back from people who have higher internet speeds and have these devices. (if you have different devices, please provide make/model)

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